Trade Winds
Cairngorm Brewery Company, The

Trade WindsTrade Winds
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Pale Ale - English
Ranked #6
Ranked #11,815
4.03 | pDev: 10.17%
Cairngorm Brewery Company, The
Scotland, United Kingdom
Very Good
Trade WindsTrade Winds
Notes: Light golden in colour, with high proportion of wheat, giving the beer a clean fresh taste. The mash blends together with the Perle hops and elderflower providing a bouquet of fruit and citrus flavours.
View: Beers
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 44 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by redleg411:
Photo of redleg411
redleg411 from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Feb 04, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cask conditioned at the 32nd Cambridge Beer Festival, gravity dispense. Golden colour, moderate natural carbonation. Lovely INTENSE hoppy aroma - fruits (citrus), honey, flowers. Flavour is extremely pleasant and well balanced with a citrussy hoppiness throughout. This is one of the best session beers I’ve had!

Jun 19, 2005
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob from Northern Ireland

3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask

Pours with a light yellow body, slight foamy head with little retention

Smell hints of flowers, slight malt sweetness, citrusy with a hint of elderflower or some other flowers

Taste, dry and a little thick on the palette, floral and malty

Not a bad little wheat

Oct 13, 2004
Photo of gentlebubbles
gentlebubbles from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

NERAX 2006 (Thu)

Beautiful clear gold with an airy white head.

Bracing floral, piney scent, like a sea breeze along the shore.

Bready malt forms a basis for pine resin hoppiness, that sticks until the grapefruit emerges in the finish.

Tender, light, airy mouthfeel.

Wonderful stuff! Just a sip had me thinking about it all the next day!

May 25, 2006
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter from Germany

4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My nephew picked this up for me while in Scotland. Clear yellow pour with a two finger head, decent retention, and great lacing. Really interesting and unique herbal, earthy, citrus nose with hints of butterscotch, grain, and hops. The taste mirrors the nose with a bit more citrus coming through and lots of great herbal hoppiness. I have no exposure with elderflowers, but I assume they are what gives this beer it's uniqueness. It reminds me a lot of some Heather beers I've tried in the past. Very nice balance between the hops and malt, coupled with a crisp, fresh finish makes this hugely drinkable. I would love to try this on cask and will definitely seek it out on my next trip to the UK. Thanks Kevin!

Sep 29, 2011
Photo of charlatan
charlatan from Scotland

3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Straw coloured beer from a 500ml bottlewith decent white head which leaves some lacing on my glass. It has a freshness date six months away and a pleasant nose dominated by lemon but also featuring a hint of pine.

This is not nearly as sweet as the nose suggests. Instead a rather astringent lemon flavour pervades with a slight biscuity flavour in the background becoming more apparent in the finish and a lasting bitterness on the tongue. I like this. It belies its appearance by being something of a slow sipper. A dry feel presumably contributes to this.

Oct 26, 2013
Photo of wl0307
wl0307 from England

3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the Sainsbury's supermarket, this is the bottle (filtered) version of the famous elderflower ale, the cask version of which has won the Champion Speciality Beer of Britain for three years in a row (2004-2006). BB 28/11/09, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a clear, light golden hue with moderate carbonation that comprises tiny and large bubbles; the off-white frothy head retains its texture and thickness quite well.
S: exotic fruitiness abounds, suggesting passion-fruits, elderflower, lychee-fruits, grapefruits/lemons, with a faint touch of wild strawberries(!), on top of a clean and sweet malty body that somehow hints at a little sharp fruit candy and butterscotch. As it breathes, the slightly stinky-sweet oat-biscuity edge also sneaks through. Overall, the aroma is predominantly fruity and pleasant, but requires a bit more complexity to be really great.
T: the initial fizzy foretaste bursting with elderflower, grapefruit peels, and random spicy hops is gradually joined force by the moderately-flavoured but solid aftertaste of biscuity malts and the underlying aroma of lychee-fruits (on skin), before the semi-tangy and semi-tannic hop-bitterness (with a little salty edge of dried tangerine peels) wraps everything up and lingers w/o limits.
M&D: fluffy and effervescent on the palate, the fizziness comes slightly too much for me, but as soon as the initial swallow settles, the flavour just evolves non-stop on the palate. Although this is not as smooth and complex as the cask version, the refreshing body and fruity profile remain utterly enjoyable as a session beer.

Sep 06, 2008
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew from Northern Ireland

4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought from The Vintage, Antrim...

Poured a light golden coppery colour... white head poured smallish and faded to light frothy layer... barely any carbonation... quite a bit of sticky wispy lacing...

Aroma - Nice juicy fruits (grapefruits, oranges, pineppale, some lemons), grassy / piney hop notes, light pepperiness, vanilla, light biscuity malts, cream soda notes, honey sweetness, some light almond notes, quite prefumed...

Taste - Quite sweet juicy fruits (apricots, pinapples, grapefruits), fairly sweet biscuity maltiness, bready notes, light wheatiness, nice light grassy / peppery hop bitterness, floral / perfumey notes, some faint metallic notes come through after a while...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy with a little bite... Light body... An outstandingly drinkable beer - could see myself happily drinking this all night...

Overall - An excellent wheat ale... so drinkable and refreshing.. recommended...

Jun 22, 2007
Photo of burnstar
burnstar from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Aug 08, 2014
Photo of harpus
harpus from Alabama

3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Mar 27, 2013
Photo of seanyfo
seanyfo from Scotland

4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half pint served from the cask at the Paisley Beer Festival

A- Dark apple juice concentrate blonde, with a slight hue. Soapy 2 finger head reducing to crown, with good sticky lace.

S- Sweet citrus juicy hops.

T- Passionfruit, a creamy yoghurty note with a faint underlying malt sweetness, delicate sustained hop bite in the finish.

M- Moderate carbonation yet creamy

D- Lovely flavour profile, enough hops to make it very refreshing with a creamy note on the tongue making it very delicate. Excellent!

May 02, 2010
Photo of vinicole
vinicole from England

3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cask. Straw. Thin dense head.
Light citrus hop aroma. Lemon. Some Tom cat.
Taste as above. Demi-sec. Tobacco is present along with a bit of grain. Elderflower? More tom cat.
Light and smooth.
I probably would not have detected the elderflower unless it was advertised.

Sep 29, 2017
Photo of kmacphail
kmacphail from Scotland

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer that is quite difficult to find in comparisson to the other Cairgorm brewery drinks. But when found it is worth trying. It recently won second prize in a British Beer Competition (1st prize - Clansman Ale, Hebridean Brewing Company).

The beer pours a light colour with a good head, cloudy at first but clear when settled.

The aromas were hoppy and wheat.

The taste was of strong hops with a hint of citrus and a slightly bitter-sweet after taste (that may seem odd, but thats the best way I could describe it). It has the consistency in the mouth of a beer in between 80/- and 90/-, very thick, am not sure if I could have drank this all night.

I enjoyed the few pints I had and would strongly recommend everyone to try this beer.

Aug 28, 2006
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock from England

2.53/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

17th Feb 2012: Hand pulled pint in The Wrekin, Wellington, Shropshire.

Clear and almost bright golden body with a small but full head of white bubbles that tried to hang around.

Weak nose: some floral hop content, but no malt notes I could find.

The flavours were fruity and floral: again not overly strong and with no malt input I could detect: the high proportion of corn and wheat might have something to do with the lack of maltiness of course.

Pleasant enough, but not what I want from a pint of Ale

Jun 19, 2012
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Prince of Wales in Aberdeen Scotland.

A: Pours a clear dark golden/orange/red color. A one finger white head forms with good retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big citrus hops up front. Floral and spicy character. Some honey like sweetness and great dry bread/biscuit malt for balance.
T: Follows the nose, but more flavor comes out. Big citrus, spcy, and floral hops. A great fruity flavor of pears and apples. Lighlty sweet with a great bread/biscuit balance.
M/D: A medium body that has good carbonation. Creamy and smooth. So easy to drink. I can drink this all day.

This is a great beer. I have no idea why this is listed as a Pale Wheat Ale, and American at that? More of a great English Pale ale. A treat on cask. Highly recommended.

Aug 20, 2010
Photo of Madigan
Madigan from Ireland

4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I heard the Cask version of this stuff had won several awards so I picked up a couple of bottles but was disappointed to discover when I got a home (in a beer reference book - it doesn't say it on the bottle) that this is technically a wheat beer. I don't mind wheat beer but I was expecting a more traditional Scottish ale. Imagine my surprise, and delight, then, when I tasted it and discovered that wheat is only one component of this very complex and lively brew. It's quite different to a German weizen (again, I've nothing against Paulaner et al.). It goes down very smoothly, has a lovely tangy, citrus bite, and the elderflower gives it a nice herbal finish. I thought it was quite similar to that other great Scottish ale Bitter & Twisted except even fresher. Anyway, I was well impressed and I'll definitely be trying it again.

Apr 09, 2009
Photo of atis
atis from Finland

4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle from Dublin

Pours brilliant gold with large foamy white head, leaves patchy lacing. Aroma is rich grassy, sourish fruit, zesty citrus, some pepper.

Taste is fruity (mostly grapefruit) grassy/piney hops, light wheaty malt and medium dry finish with increasingly bittery citrus hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth and light with slightly above average carbonation.

Overall, very drinkable and very well made beer.

Mar 23, 2009
Photo of maxk
maxk from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -0.7%

Dec 20, 2011
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill from Kentucky

4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Handpump halfpint at the Southwark Tavern.

A: Clear pale amber body under a thin off-white head that settles into a ring. Mediocre retention, no lace. Meh.

S: Clearn, bright fruitiness, with some piney hops and butterscotch malt underneath. Very pleasant.

T: Follows the nose precisely: balanced malt + hops give notes of orange, butterscotch, and pine. Tasty.

M: Very soft, almost still, light body. A little weaker than I'd like.

O: This was a delicious beer, but I have to admit I was shocked to see that A) it's listed as an APWA, and B) it's brewed with elderflowers. I can kind of see where the hops and flowers went together to give it the herbal + fruity characteristics that I noticed, but the persistent butterscotch character seems out of whack with all the ingredients. If this came from an old cask, it was a wonderful bit of spoilage.


Jun 17, 2011
Photo of stercomm
stercomm from Ohio

4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand pulled at the Price of Wales in Aberdeen, Scotland into a classic UK pint glass.

A - Poured a clear golden/orange color. Slight white head, good overall retention. Slight lacing along the glass.

S - Good citrusy hops along with some floral notes. Elderflower, intresting ingredient.

T - Good citrus, floral hoppy taste. Good biscuity dry malt taste on the finish.

M - Medium body and medium carbonation. Very crisp nice finish, definitely a good session beer

Feb 26, 2012
Photo of Brabander
Brabander from Netherlands

3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle from my beerbuddy in Scotland. Thanks Craig! (Zimbo on BA).

Surprisingly good beer to start with. Poured in my Struise glass this beer looks nice with a golden yellow fluid and a nice white head which disappears after a while. Some corbonation in the glass makes this a lookable beer.

Smell is good, they write there is elderflower on the nose. Hmmm, could be. Taste is crisp with the hops at the end of each sip.

Oct 14, 2011
Photo of ivanwatling
ivanwatling from England

4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale golden colour with a thick, lively and creamy head.

Smell: Very strong citrus hops aroma, enticing you to take a sip

Taste: Unmistakable citrus/flowery hop taste yet with a biterness that remains well balanced and not overpowering. Evokes thoughts of bright sunshine on a summer's day.

Mouthfeel: Citrus/flower explosion fading to pleasant biterness

Drinkability: Would be the ideal accompnimant to a warm summer

Apr 27, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky from New York

4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: Nice white frothy head. Clear golden-copper with lots of small bubbles. Heavy lacing.

S: Mmm, hops are sharp and clean. There is an even more aromatic scent as well -- the label suggests elderflower.

T: Good taste. Crisp, light hops with significant carbonation. The main taste is a bit strange, with a combination of flavours I have not come across -- I attribute it to wheat and elderflower. The aftertaste is long, bitter, and clean. Very nice!

M: Sparklingly clean and hopped.

D: Great beer, good drinking, highly aromatic and pungent. Recommended.

Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Zimbo
Zimbo from Scotland

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased super fresh from the brewery this looks like a full golden clean pilsner with a fine big fluffy head.

Just a super feel. Husky, citrus bitter and firm, this taste builds in your mouth from inception and really mops up the palate with its presence. Not extreme nor intense but strong and more potent than the 4.3% would suggest.

I never would have thought a golden coloured beer made with wheat, elderflower and Perle hops could produce become such a complete and seemless beer.

May 01, 2011
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13 from England

3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with a use by date of Feb 2012 - poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Description says that it contains a blend of barley and wheat, in addition to hops and elderflower.

Pours a pale golden colour with a decent head that recedes fairly quickly. Some haziness and light carbonation. Initial smell of grain and malt, along with some flowery hops.

First sip provides grainy malt, followed by a distinct bitterness. Flowery and light fruity notes add to the flavour, although this is quite subtle. The hops and elderflower mesh well, with the hops more prominant.

A decent beer, although I was getting bored of it towards the end of the glass. Nice to drink, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Dec 26, 2010
Trade Winds from Cairngorm Brewery Company, The
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 44 ratings